It kind of feels like a punishment instead of a help when you are in the midst of what seems like a major existential crisis and the only slim advice you get is “relax” or “it will all be okay” or “the universe has your back.”
It feels like you’re bloody (bloody, tho?) doomed, in a way, when you’re bombarded with these disjointed pop-spiritual messages that sound as though all you have to do is simply fit in to an angel-cookie-cut-out version of the higher truth or plug-in to some secret code for self-love that everybody else seems to have figured out but you.
One of the things I rail against is being told how it is, how it has to be, how it’s always been. I’m not interested in being force-fed (or force feeding anyone else, frankly) a slew of complicated systems or beliefs or rules. I want, desire and actively seek out a spiritual connection that works.
That’s why when I delve into spiritual (and creative) study / reading / practice / action, I consciously try to be sure I approach with a mindset of willing openness, of loving curiosity, of a strange sort of reverent playfulness.
It has to be nimble. I have to be nimble. And I don’t believe that is too much to ask of a Universe that is wild, all-loving, all-nurturing, all-supporting. In fact, I’m pretty sure that whatever twisted, screwed-up way I show up, the Big Love Energy is more than capable of sneaking up and surprising me with even more loving, clever cunning than I could possibly wield on my own.
But even in good faith, one of the stickiest ways we get ourselves spiritually (and creatively) stuck or fall off the wagon completely is by beating ourselves up for missing the mark on keeping the peace within, keeping the good energy flowing, bringing forth our best art work.
It’s really easy, especially when surrounded by well-meaning but sometimes damaging bite-sized-spiritual messages of light and hope and unicorns (don’t get me wrong, mooncritters: I’m totally pro-unicorn and no unicorns were harmed in the making of this blog post), to feel like losers when we mess up.
After all, I mean, we know “better.”
Mmmmm . . . sort of. At least, part of us does. The part that doesn’t kick us when we’re down.
Here’s the bad news (bad news first, always: we’ll get to the sugar in a minute): the ego is CONSTANTLY working against us, sexy lovers; always working against our attempts – little ones, big ones, and every attempt in between – to deepen our spiritual practice and our courageous creative endeavors.
Every time we make a move toward Love, the Universe assists us and our ego resists us. [Click to Tweet]
THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. So real. (As real as #thestruggleisreal is so cliché.)
But that’s also the good news, too. (coffee with that sugar, love?)
It’s good to know you have to muscle up to keep the faith. It’s good to know you aren’t failing when you struggle because it’s all just part of the process, the practice, the growth, the deepening, the stretch.
The struggle is the struggle because the struggle itself is a big part of the work we came here to do.
Both Divine assistance and ego resistance are a natural part of the wild cycle of being the beast creatures we are. Nothing worthwhile comes easy, right.
We were built to handle ourselves, though, you guys. It’s totally in us to rise to whatever situation requires our deepest healing, peaceful presence, creative flow.
Just the simple act of recognizing, acknowledging and allowing for the fact that we ARE engaged in a near constant battle actually sets us free to get off our own case about it.
Our job is not to avoid the struggle but to stay on our game and be alert for where the ego is trying to mislead us with bullshit thoughts like: “If I were doing this right, it wouldn’t be so hard.” or “If I were stronger I wouldn’t have to struggle.”
Even the strongest among us struggle mightily.
Cut yourself some slack, dude, seriously.
Even the brightest fight the dark.
And if you’ve been hanging out with me for a while now (love!) you know that my entire body of work revolves around the central belief that the spiritual and the artistic are inextricably linked.
And in these years of writing and reading and watching and interacting with seekers and artists alike, I uncover more and more stories that support what I believe in my heart to be true: that we are eternally evolving souls with our own unique and important messages to share with one another.
Those messages come from a mystical realm and they come through our art.
Therefore, it is no surprise to discover that in both spiritual and artistic endeavors, we are in a constant quest to balance the opposing forces of love/ego, assistance/resistance, dragon/knight, that exist within us all. (I’m actually pro-dragon, too, but perhaps that’s for another blog post.)
I have such deep respect for you who take the time to connect with my work because I know it doesn’t end here. It means that in much of the time you don’t spend here on Glory Begin (wait, you aren’t always on Glory Begin? We don’t live in here together eating cake and drinking champagne??) you are out there rocking your brave creative work even against the dragon.
It means you are out there doing your goddamn best to love yourself even against tremendous struggle, tremendous battles. This is for you who know the depths of courage no one acknowledges you for.
I see you. I know the struggle is real, babe. I’m right there with you, trust.
So if it’s cool, I’d like to button this up by sharing with you these brilliant bits from Steven Pressfield’s beast of a book DO THE WORK in which he speaks about Resistance as the natural force who’s ONLY goal is to knock us off our creative game.
“The enemy is intelligent, protean, implacable, inextinguishable, and utterly ruthless and destructive. Its aim is not to obstruct or to hamper or to impede. Its aim is to kill . . . The enemy is inside you.”
Resistance is ego. Art is Love. Creation is the game.
And in the book, right before he says what you are about to read below, Pressfield reminds us that we are destined to beat Resistance because Resistance came second.
First and foremost, Love came first.
And Love, beautiful creatures, will always win.
We may be struggling, angels, but it’s not because we are weak. It’s not because we are fools, losers, cowards. It’s because despite an active natural force pushing back against our advance with all its gruesome might, WE REFUSE TO GIVE UP ON THE URGE.
The urge to create, the urge to connect, the urge to share, the urge to serve.
The urge, beloved warriors, is Love.
MY BOOK IS COMING THIS SUMMER!
My first book of poetry, Vein, is now in its final stages of production. These poems have been coursing through me like wild life force and very soon they will be yours to have and to hold.
They are visceral. They are strange. They are bold. They are the blood of the soul and the energy flow of the divine.
Sign up to my private mailing list at the top of this page if you want to be first to get your beautiful hands all over Vein.
All my deepest love and gratitude for your light in my life,
Allison Marie x